Not that there are that many people who read this- i think it may just be my dad- but i felt like i needed to wrap up this blog with some final thoughts. It's now been a little over a month since I've been back from Dubai. I can't believe it's already been that long since I was in the UAE, but time flies.
I've caught up with a couple of friends who are still around my neighborhood in MD, and when I've visited the pool, parents that I knew from years past on the swim team stop to ask what I've been up to. I tell them that I followed up graduating from Syracuse by flying to Dubai for 6 weeks to intern with Ketchum Raad, a Cannes-award winning PR agency, and watch their jaws drop.
In retrospect, I can't imagine having had a more incredible experience while there. The people I met, talked to, worked with, etc. were from all over the world and had experienced the amazing places that you only read about. The conversations I had about America, world politics, travel, war, PR practices, business, were all conversations that I had only really had in a theoretical setting in school.
People often ask what was the best experience I had while in Dubai. There is no way I can limit it to just one... The whole time was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had. That being said, there were a few times that I can think of: the day we dune-bashed in the desert, made friends with Pakistanis who had never met Americans, rode a camel, went to a night club on the Palm Island and made more friends in 4 Kuwaitis, who treated us like best friends; the day we met up with a friend from SU Ambulance, Momin Sherazi, who treated us to an amazing dinner and shared his experiences growing up in the UAE; and being treated to dinner by an Emirati, Hamad al Suwaidi, and his friend Sara, who ha found out about us through this blog- the hospitality they showed us was amazing, and I only wish we had met them sooner during our stay.
There are a few people who I definitely need to thank for making this experience what it was. It wouldn't have been possible without the incredible faculty at Newhouse, especially Dean Branham and Professor O'Neill, who set up the program and worked with Ramzi Raad to make out stay amazing. At work, of course I have to thank Ramzi for welcoming us to his agency and funding a large part of our stay. In the Ketchum team, work wouldn't have been nearly as interesting or entertaining without Jamie Read's expertise and whimsical comments, Elissar's laughter at the smallest things, Abi providing laughs for Elissar throughout the day, and Rima's Britishisms and swears. And without Moe Shehebar from TBWA welcoming us as if we are family, we wouldn't have been able to experience the city as much as we did.
Finally- I have to thank my travel partner, and partner in crime, Lisa. Though we didn't know each other well at all before our trip, it was great getting to know you, and I know well be friends for years to come. I couldn't have asked for a better person to travel with.
I can't imagine not returning to Dubai at some point. I also can't imagine not traveling again to that extent, and repeatedly, so maybe I'll convert this blog to a general travel blog? I've got an idea for a trip I may make next summer- stay tuned for updates in the coming months.